Waffle On Cairns – A Small Cafe With Big Taste

B25DF03D-BC4D-4E8E-931D-CFD314FE1D76Waffle On comes VERY highly recommended by reviewers at Trip Advisor and since I own stock in that company I try to heed their advice whenever possible. When I arrived the place was full which isn’t difficult considering there is only 1 table inside and 1 counter for 2 people. Outside there are maybe 5 tables, a couple with 4-5 seats and a few with 2 seats. There are people constantly stopping by to try to get a seat and unless they are masters at musical chairs and have the music timed right they are out of luck and are sent on their way. Those who are truly tenacious and demand their waffle will have to wait patiently on the sidewalk mean mugging the diners until they finally get up and give up their precious chairs. There is no to go ordering so you either sit here to eat or you go home and make your own damn waffles. Trust me your waffles will not hold a candle to these waffles and you will be missing out on one of the great wonders of the world. Yes. They are that good. 4544AC58-2CD1-4554-8078-1B2419288EB6

So now that you’ve scored a seat, do you want a traditional strawberry waffle, a plain waffle (yawn… just give up your seat now – what in the name of heaven is wrong with you???),  a “normal” breakfast perched on a waffle, or perhaps you are feeling like breakfast and dessert all in one fell swoop. If so you are in luck since there are an assortment of waffles that will satisfy that deep dark desire. 1628D1EA-397C-4281-A5F9-A690ACD80706Nothing to be ashamed of, just boldly order your dessert on a plate and pretend you are having a healthy breakfast. I do it all the time (if you’ve read my reviews you know this is oh too true). The prices for the sweet side of the menu run from 9.90 AUD for plain (yawn) to 15.90 for “Chronicles of Banan” which is served with Nutella, sliced banana, walnuts, caramel sauce, melted Belgian chocolate, and chocolate ice cream. If that doesn’t make you salivate then how about a Robert Brownie JNR made with a chocolate brownie waffle and served with chocolate AND vanilla ice cream, melted Belgian chocolate and your choice of strawberries, banana or both. There is a Maple Bacon waffle that is made with homemade candied bacon with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream. Gimme S’More is something that sounds heavenly – hand toasted (as opposed to foot toasted?) marshmallows, Belgian chocolate sauce topped crushed chocolate honeycomb with a side of vanilla and strawberry ice cream sandwiches between their delicious chocolate brownie waffle. There is a nod to the artist formerly known as Prince on their menu with a Raspberry Beret (yes there are raspberries in it – you are catching on..). The Cookie Monster is a decadent monstrosity which has brownie waffles filled with whipped cream, crushed Oreos, and served with both vanilla and chocolate ice cream, finished with melted white chocolate and chocolate Belgian sauce. ACAF39C2-8DF7-4B71-BE38-64F6D6F45E66Another waffle that had my stomach rumbling with desire was the Black Forest – chocolate brownie waffle with fresh raspberries and blueberries, served with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, dark cherry purée, topped with white and milk Belgian chocolate. If you, on the other hand want to act like an adult instead of a kid in a candy store (I’m on the kid in the candy store side but you may be more refined in your tastes) you can order some of the savory waffles (price from $14.90 – $16.90 AUD + $3 for extras) which include Avocado which not surprisingly has smashed avocado on the waffle, as well as scrambled egg, bacon (or mushroom – or both for a bit more money if you’re feeling famished) and finished with spring onion for $15.90 AUD. The Pommy breakfast is a homemade waffle served with baked beans,  bacon, egg, mushrooms, tomato and pork chipolata. I have no idea what chipolata is (look it up if you must know) but to me it sounds sort of like a pina colada with chocolate chips in it… They have a BLT waffle sandwich with the expected ingredients plus you can add avocado for $3 AUD. The mountain goat sounded tasty with goat cheese, smashed avocado, blueberry coulis and honey (see just add sweetness and I’m all over it). The Hot Spaniard is a waffle served with spicy chorizo, roasted red peppers, white beans in a spicy tomato sauce, topped with a poached egg and a side of sour cream. Any of the waffles can be made gluten free or vegan by substituting the regular waffle with a special coconut waffle.F1386955-EA6F-4427-8BA6-0B0A276AB5C0 I got greedy when I decided to order the Sir Eggs Benedict waffles and instead of bacon or mushrooms I got both (just another $3 AUD) PLUS I added goat cheese (just another $3 AUD) and oh my dear lord it was soooo worth that extra $3. I avoided the smoked salmon that was also an extra $3 because I have my limits, plus I can’t wrap my head around fish waffles… The mushrooms on the side were cut in thirds and complemented the Benedict perfectly. There was a MASSIVE pile of bacon that would send any pork lovin’ fool straight to heaven, pass go and DO collect that $200 because you are worth it. Anyway I loved the mushrooms but the bacon tasted different to me. I’m guessing it’s an Australian vs American bacon thing and I’m not about to get in the middle of that food fight. Honestly I’m sometimes a bit squirrelly about meat and large piles of it sort of freak me out… I know, I know, I’m in therapy for this, we’re working on it. I ate half the food and desperately wanted to inhale the other half but as someone who reviews a fair number of restaurants (and we’re not talking the sprouts and salads sort of restaurants) I’ve got to go easy on the portions or I’ll have to by my clothes in extra stretchy sizes. 

The waffle was lightly sweet so it didn’t taste weird (yes, I was afraid it might) with the eggs Benedict. The waffle complemented the eggs and hollandaise perfectly (eggs to waffle: “you look lovely today” hollandaise to waffle “Dahling you are simply divine!”). The whole thing was pure perfection.

To finish it all off (or to start) there are some healthy and not so healthy drink choices to include the normal coffees and teas but also fresh juice, smoothies, some decadent sounding shakes, and fresh fruit crushes.

and I’d travel on a plane for 10 hours to come back and have one of these again! In fact… I may sneak over there before my conference tomorrow to sample another one of these delightful waffle extravaganza creations.

Closed on Monday and open 7:30 am to 1:00 pm all other days.

64 Shields Street, Cairns, QLD, 4870 Australia

+61 429 930 921


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Cafe Seaside Hanon – Breakfast By the Sea Where You Can BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog)

LRG_DSC00127Café Seaside Hanon is one of my very favorite breakfast places in Okinawa and of course because it is on my list, you know that means it is dog friendly as well. If you have a big dog make sure you are capable of lifting him/her because in order to get to the dog friendly area you must carry your fuzzy friend through the restaurant. Also if your dog is a non-stop yapper that is a deal breaker (or a meal breaker…) and is about the last thing those who are drinking their first cappuccino of the day want to endure.fullsizeoutput_6878

Stepping out onto their patio you are transported to Santorini, Greece. The balcony seating area is built with soothing gray flagstone floors and white stucco walls with benches seamlessly built in, gently sloping and impressively comfortable for concrete! It helps that the benches are stacked with vibrant azure blue pillows to lounge on and round silver gray cotton mats to keep a layer between you and the cold concrete (picture a large gray coaster that instead of setting under your glass you set under your… ahem).

White net curtains are pulled back making the place look tropical and inviting. The patio looks out over the tropical turquoise Okinawan sea (well technically it’s the East China Sea, but the part you can seen belongs to Okinawa…). fullsizeoutput_6bfbDetails are key, from a potted olive tree, ceiling fans, space heaters, designated dog bowls, to the baskets stacked with cozy blankets for those who get chilly (or need a nap after a big breakfast). fullsizeoutput_6875The inside of the restaurant is just as beautiful but is dog free (except for the occasional dog being carried through on the way to or from the patio).ahaje8403.jpg

Word of warning – if you want the eggs Benedict pancakes they only sell 20 orders on weekends and 10 on weekdays so you’d better get here early because they are guaranteed to sell out! Got here one day at 1130 and I was totally out of luck ordering this. I came at 8:15 am this time and waited patiently until they opened at 9:00 am just so I could get the elusive and sought after eggs Benedict. Then I noticed that the limited time selection for the month of May was lemon curd pancakes and when asked which she would choose, the waitress said she’d just tried them and heartily recommended them, so of course I decided on the limited edition pancakes. I made the mistake passing on limited edition strawberry French toast at another restaurant once and have regretted it ever since – far be it from me to add any more regrets to my list. fullsizeoutput_6c14Oh and I’d been fantasizing about Seaside Café Hanon’s cheese French pancakes (they blend cream cheese into the batter then dip them and toast them on both sides like French toast) since last time I ate there and tried them but there were no substitutions for the regular Mihama pancakes (touted as being made with whole milk from Hokkaido) that come with the lemon curd pancake order. Of course as I’m an all or nothing kind of girl, I got it all. Yep I got an order of cheese French pancakes as a side on my pancake order. IMG_7594I love that the waitress didn’t bat an eye at my carbo-loading shenanigans. I also ordered iced café mocha because that’s just how I roll on Sunday mornings. The beautiful thing about getting there before the crowd is that if you are one of the first few in line they will take your order and have it ready for you shortly after you sit down. Well, I just realized that I’m shooting myself in the foot here by giving up this information and may have a larger crowd to contend with now… Maybe you should just go ahead and sleep in. You’ll get here when you get here – and I’ll be long gone, with my tummy full and happy on my way home for a nap.

IMG_4403Your morning meal starts with a happy little surprise or as the French call it, an amuse-bouche (mouth amuser) in the form of a small serving of crème brûlée that is sheer perfection (the only imperfection is that it is in a teeny tiny little bowl so leaves you craving more – but it’s free so really just stop your complaining already).fullsizeoutput_6876

The lemon curd pancakes (920 yen or around $8.50 US at the current yen rate) were a thing of beauty and delectability (is that a word? It must be because my auto correct didn’t seem to take issue with it…). The curd is a decadent creamy lemon topping, sour, sweet, and indulgently rich generously poured over the pancakes. This deliciousness is then topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a thin lemon slice beret (well of course the well dressed pancake MUST have a hat – and what could be more sophisticated and suave than a lemon beret?). These fluffy lemon curd pancakes were as good as they sound (unless you didn’t like my description, in that case they were much better than they sound) and it was all I could do to leave half (since I was also devouring the cheese French pancakes and didn’t plan ahead by wearing stretch pants). fullsizeoutput_6678Now onto the cheese French pancakes. These are on my list of reasons to get out of bed in the morning, reasons to come to Seaside Café Hanon, and reasons to live. Yes they are THAT good. Again, I left a half portion because of the pants to waist dilemma but the waitress was kind enough to wrap up the remaining halves for me in a to-go box (so I could have my pancake and eat it too). When I’m on my deathbed if you bring me some of these cheese French pancakes I’ll jump up and dance a jig, thank you profusely, then place an order for more to be delivered the next day. Plus I’ll add you to my will. Really. So why pray tell are they that good? I don’t know but I do know that I love cream cheese, I love pancakes, and I love French toast. Now mix all three together and you’ve got the winning trifecta. IMG_7584On a previous visit I had these cheese French pancakes topped with a mixed berry sauce (called “Berry berry cute pancake”), throwing the whole experience into overdrive and making my taste buds sing with glee. Ok weird imagery, I’ll try to dial it back a notch. IMG_4405Other options for pancakes include chocolate chip, the chocolate banana carnival pancake (it sounds quite festive), apple cinnamon pancake, salted caramel pancake, and purple yam millefeuille. If you needmore than “just” pancakes for breakfast they have the egg & meat pancake (served on the side and not IN the pancake), “chillibeans pancake” (chili cheese beans with extra large sausage with homemade pickles). LRG_DSC00147My iced chocolate mocha tasted like decadent chocolate milk for adults and made me so very happy to be an adult (or at least to have people fooled into thinking I’m one). On other occasions I’ve tried their hot cafe mocha and caramel macchiato and both were the perfect blend of warm, rich, and sweet (like I like my men) and a beautiful way to start breakfast. IMG_0863They have a plethora of coffee drinks so if you want it, they’ll likely have it. Their other drinks include juices, soft drinks, Italian sodas, granite (sherbet-like icy drink with fresh juice), or if you have that “it’s 5:00 somewhere” mentality, then they have Orion and Corona beer or Awamori cocktails.

IMG_6358Another thing I appreciated was that ordering scrambled eggs for my dog didn’t even produce a raised eyebrow, in fact the waitress came back a moment later with two dog bowls and asked which one my dog would prefer the eggs in (the other was for water). fullsizeoutput_6c41I tell you I’m madly in love with this restaurant for these reasons alone. Oh but there is so much more to this restaurant than non-judgmental servers and dog friendly seating.
The restaurant fills up fast so be prepared to put your name on the list and wait patiently for something so good you’ll forget all about having had to wait. So if you like amazing pancakes, a stunning view of the sea while you dine, and dog friendly restaurants this is the place for you.fullsizeoutput_6c01
With 2 orders of pancakes, iced café mocha, and a side of scrambled eggs for my dog Pickles the total came to about 2400 yen or about $22 at today’s yen rate – a great deal for such an exquisite breakfast in such a stunning location!

fullsizeoutput_6867Seaside Café Hanon is up Tuesday to Friday 11am – 7pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-7pm, Japanese holiday 9am – 7pm and closed ever Monday or the day after Japanese National holiday. Last order for food is at 6pm and last drink order is at 6:30 pm.

+81 98-989-0653

9-39 Mihama Oak Fashion Building 2F, Chatan-cho, Nakagami-gun 904-0115 Okinawa Prefecture, Japan Phone: +81 98-989-0653fullsizeoutput_6c30

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